Pierce and money woes.
Pierce was not happy with the results of his call to Maria. In his opinion, she wanted too much money upfront and her 100 dollar per day during the expedition was sheer robbery. How could he determine how long it would take to reach their goal, and what about the final settlement if El Dorado was found? He decided to call Stevens and shake him up for more money.
“Hello John, we need to talk about your contact Maria. I think that she is out to swindle me out of my inheritance!” exclaimed Pierce.
“Now Mr. Pierce, you are exaggerating surely. Maria and her family are well known to me and I can assure you that the money they ask of you will be well spent. Your expedition could be costly, but if it successful and you survive you will thank me for it.” A pause could be heard at the other end of the line.
“What do you mean if I survive? Is it that dangerous?” Pierce was now having second thoughts. Risking his life for money was fine, but the odds must be in his favor or he just might have to walk away from this. Stevens knew that he had to encourage Pierce to risk, and not to let fears of death stop him. He decided to bait him with more money.
“Mr. Pierce, I hear you loud and clear, and I also do want to see you succeed and come back alive from this expedition. This is what I will do for you; I will give you another check for 5000 dollars and when your expedition starts in Peru, I will wire you every week 1000 dollars to your bank of choice there. So money will be flowing in and you will not be working for nothing, how’s that?” Stevens knew that the lure of more money from the estate of his uncle would be music to the ears of Pierce.
“Now this has a nice ring to it, and I love the idea of having money flowing into my account. Thanks’ a lot for this John.” Pierce hung up the phone and smiled broadly. His money problems might seem to be on the mend for the near future and he liked that future even more. He now had to start organizing the expedition. Stevens had told him not to buy much as Maria could buy everything much cheaper back there in Peru and he specifically told him not to bring too much money and to have a low profile.
Pierce proceeded to make his baggage for the voyage; some shirts, some T-shirts, several pants, a hat. He decided to buy a knife and other such defensive items in Peru as he did not want problems with custom agents. He then took out of the pot his two artefacts and carefully wrapped them in aluminum foil and put them in his baggage. With his passport ready, he took the first flight out of New Stanton towards Peru. But he was not alone on this flight. The others were watching him too.